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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims urge other victims to come forward

New support group to meet for first time in Charleston

It calls on anyone who "saw, suspected or suffered" clergy crimes to "speak up"

Self help organization specifically seeks those hurt by convicted Belle minister

Healing is possible, SNAP says, but only when victims and witnesses take action

Group also invites family and friends of those molested to get consolation & guidance

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, an advocate for clergy sex abuse victims will
-- announce the formation of a new support group in Charleston for those molested by clergy, and
-- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered misdeeds by a recently convicted Belle preacher to come forward, get help and call police

WHEN
TODAY, Monday, Oct. 12, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Charleston Police Department, 501 Virginia St. East, Charleston, WV ( City Hall building )

WHO
Two clergy sex abuse victims, including a Missouri woman who is a leader of the nation’s largest support group for clergy sex abuse victims, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests – http://www.snapnetwork.org/

WHY
A self help group called SNAP will hold its first support meeting in Charleston tomorrow, Tuesday Oct 13th at 6:30 p.m. at the Kanawha Public Library, (St Albans branch) 602 4th St. St. Albans, WV. It welcomes anyone who has been sexually violated by clergy of any faith.

The organization's goals are to help heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.

The group has also started a website with information about accused Charleston-area clerics: http://wheeling-charlestontruth.org/

In particular, SNAP is trying to find and help anyone who was molested by the former pastor of Shrewsbury Church of God, Sandy Martin Cook, who was convicted in February of child molestation. Four of his victims are pursuing civil lawsuits against Cook and his former employer. The Cook victims are represented by Charleston attorneys Bobby Warner and Tammy Bowles Raines. Their suits were filed in August and are pending before Kanawha circuit judges James Stucky, Charles King and Louis Bloom.

SNAP is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. It has been around for 21 years and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in its title, it has members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers.

CONTACT
Judy Jones of St. Louis, SNAP Ohio Valley director 314 974 5003, 636 433 2511
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org